No. 3 Melvin Mora (2000-2009) – 29.1 bWAR
Melvin Mora played for all of the terrible early 2000’s Baltimore Orioles teams and at the end of his tenure in Baltimore, seemed to have long overstayed his welcome with the franchise.
Mora bounced around as a utility player with the Orioles until he took over as the primary third-baseman in 2004, and he stuck there until he left Baltimore.
Mora made two All-Star teams as an Oriole, in 2003 and 2005, and he received down-ballot MVP votes in 2004, which was his peak season. During those three years, Mora hit a combined .312/.391/.513 with 69 home-runs and he posted a 138 OPS+.
After the 2006 season, Mora signed a contract extension with the Orioles for 3 years and $25 million. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Mora’s best playing days were behind him at that point.
During his ten years in Baltimore, Mora hit .277/.350/.431 with 158 home-runs, 93 stolen bases and he racked up 29.1 bWAR.
But in the years after he signed the contract extension, his performance had degraded and he didn’t take kindly to it. Mora became defensive about his play and in 2009, threw Dave Trembley under the bus for allegedly not respecting him.
We’re choosing to remember the early 2000’s Melvin Mora, rather than the one that went off the rails near the end of his career. It’s much more fun to remember Mora as the All-Star third-baseman who put his heart and soul into the city of Baltimore than it is to remember the one who went a bit crazy after his skills started dropping off the table.